Washington, D.C. – Greenhouse gas emissions from our nation’s natural gas delivery system are low and America’s natural gas utilities are committed to lowering them even further. The American Gas Association (AGA) today welcomed the announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that estimates of greenhouse gas emissions from the well to natural gas customer’s homes and businesses have been dramatically reduced. Approximately 1.4 percent of produced natural gas is emitted to atmosphere along the natural gas value chain. This estimate is based on data in this recent report and U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data on natural gas production.
“This data from EPA confirms that our nation’s abundance of natural gas is not only an economic game-changer, but an environmental one as well," said Dave McCurdy, President and CEO of the American Gas Association. “The responsible production and delivery of natural gas has already enabled significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the United States accounting for an 8 percent drop since 2007. America’s natural gas utilities are actively engaged in a fact-based dialogue about building a clean and secure energy future for our nation. Natural gas is a foundation fuel providing energy to homes and businesses, and capable of running a significant number of our vehicles, generating power and supporting other forms of renewable energy. We are working with partners in the energy and environmental communities to improve the data available on the impact of natural gas and deliver the benefits of this clean energy source to all Americans.”
Natural gas utilities believe that our North American energy endowment can be developed in a responsible and sustainable manner. AGA members operate the safest, most reliable energy delivery system in America and invest billions of dollars annually to keep it that way, while also increasing access and reducing emissions. Currently 92 percent of the natural gas produced at the wellhead is delivered to customers as usable energy.
AGA and several of its members are joining the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to sponsor a nationwide field study to better understand methane emissions associated with the distribution and delivery of natural gas. This is part of a broader series of studies to measure methane emissions across the natural gas value chain, from production to customer. Washington State University’s (WSU) Laboratory for Atmospheric Research led by Regents Professor Brian Lamb, will quantify methane emissions throughout local gas systems (from city border to the customer meter) and use the data to estimate a national methane emissions rate for U.S. natural gas distribution systems. And in collaboration with West Virginia University, AGA is working to determine methane emissions associated with routine operation of natural gas fleet vehicles fueled by compressed or liquefied natural gas.